RMS TITANIC (/taɪˈtænɪk/ ) was a British passenger liner that
sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of 15
April 1912, after it collided with an iceberg during its maiden voyage
New York City
New York City . There were an estimated 2,224
passengers and crew aboard the ship, and more than 1,500 died, making
it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in
modern history. The RMS
Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the
time it entered service and was the second of three Olympic-class
ocean liners operated by the
White Star Line
White Star Line . The
Titanic was built
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff shipyard in
Thomas Andrews , her
architect, died in the disaster.
Titanic was under the command of Edward Smith , who also went down
with the ship . The ocean liner carried some of the wealthiest people
in the world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and
Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe who were seeking
a new life in the United States. The first-class accommodation was
designed to be the pinnacle of comfort and luxury, with an on-board
gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and
opulent cabins. A high-powered radiotelegraph transmitter was
available for sending passenger "marconigrams" and for the ship's
operational use. Although
Titanic had advanced safety features such
as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors,
there were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard,
due to outdated maritime safety regulations.
Titanic only carried
enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—slightly more than half of the
number on board, and one third of her total capacity. The ship carried
lifeboat davits which could lower three lifeboats each, for a total of
48 boats. However,
Titanic carried only a total of 20 lifeboats, four
of which were collapsible and proved to be hard to launch during the
Southampton on 10 April 1912,
Titanic called at
Cherbourg in France and Queenstown (now
Cobh ) in Ireland before
heading west to New York. On 14 April, four days into the crossing
and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland , she hit an
iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship's time. The collision caused the ship's
hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard (right) side and
opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea; she
could only survive four flooding. Meanwhile, passengers and some crew
members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only
partially loaded. A disproportionate number of men were left aboard
because of a "women and children first " protocol for loading
lifeboats. At 2:20 a.m., she broke apart and foundered—with well
over one thousand people still aboard. Just under two hours after the
Titanic sank, the Cunard liner
RMS Carpathia arrived at the scene,
where she brought aboard an estimated 705 survivors.
The disaster was met with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge
loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led
to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major
improvements in maritime safety . One of their most important legacies
was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety
today. Additionally, several new wireless regulations were passed
around the world in an effort to learn from the many missteps in
wireless communications—which could have saved many more passengers.
The wreck of
Titanic was first discovered in 1985 (more than 70 years
after the disaster), and the vessel remains on the seabed. The ship
was split in two and is gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415
feet (3,784 m). Since her discovery in 1985, thousands of artefacts
have been recovered and put on display at museums around the world.
Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history; her memory
is kept alive by numerous works of popular culture, including books,
folk songs, films, exhibits, and memorials .
Titanic is the second
largest ocean liner wreck in the world, only beaten by her sister HMHS
Britannic , the largest ever sunk.
* 1 Background
* 2 Dimensions and layout
* 3 Features
* 3.1 Power
* 3.2 Technology
* 3.2.1 Watertight compartments and funnels
* 3.2.2 Rudder and steering engines
* 3.2.3 Water, ventilation and heating
* 3.2.4 Radio communications
* 3.3 Passenger facilities
* 3.4 Mail and cargo
* 3.5 Lifeboats
* 4 Building and preparing the ship
* 4.1 Construction, launch and fitting-out
* 4.2 Sea trials
* 5.1 Crew
* 5.2 Passengers
* 5.3 Collecting passengers
* 5.4 Atlantic crossing
* 5.5 Sinking
* 6 Aftermath of sinking
* 6.1 Arrival of Carpathia in New York
* 6.2 Insurance and aid for survivors
* 6.3 Investigations into the disaster
* 6.3.1 Role of the
* 6.4 Survivors and victims
* 6.5 Retrieval and burial of the dead
* 7 Wreck
* 8 Legacy
* 8.1 Safety
* 8.2 Cultural
* 9 Appendix
* 11 See also
* 12 Notes
* 13 References
* 14 Bibliography
* 15 External links
Titanic was derived from Greek mythology and meant gigantic.
Built in Belfast, Ireland, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland (as it was then known), the RMS
Titanic was the second of the
three Olympic-class ocean liners —the first was the
RMS Olympic and
the third was the
HMHS Britannic . They were by far the largest
vessels of the British shipping company
White Star Line
White Star Line 's fleet,
which comprised 29 steamers and tenders in 1912. The three ships had
their genesis in a discussion in mid-1907 between the White Star
J. Bruce Ismay
J. Bruce Ismay , and the American financier J. P.
Morgan , who controlled the White Star Line's parent corporation, the
International Mercantile Marine Co.
International Mercantile Marine Co. (IMM).
White Star Line
White Star Line faced an increasing challenge from its main
rivals Cunard , which had recently launched the Lusitania and the
Mauretania —the fastest passenger ships then in service—and the
German lines Hamburg America and
Norddeutscher Lloyd . Ismay preferred
to compete on size rather than speed and proposed to commission a new
class of liners that would be larger than anything that had gone
before as well as being the last word in comfort and luxury. The
company sought an upgrade in their fleet primarily in response to the
Cunard giants but also to replace their oldest pair of passenger ships
still in service, being the
SS Teutonic of 1889 and SS Majestic of
1890. Teutonic was replaced by Olympic while Majestic was replaced by
Titanic. Majestic would be brought back into her old spot on White
Star's New York service after Titanic's loss.
The ships were constructed by the
Belfast shipbuilders Harland and
Wolff , who had a long-established relationship with the White Star
Line dating back to 1867.
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff were given a great deal
of latitude in designing ships for the White Star Line; the usual
approach was for the latter to sketch out a general concept which the
former would take away and turn into a ship design. Cost
considerations were relatively low on the agenda and Harland and Wolff
was authorised to spend what it needed on the ships, plus a five
percent profit margin. In the case of the Olympic-class ships, a cost
of £3 million (£250 million in 2015 money) for the first two ships
was agreed plus "extras to contract" and the usual five percent fee.
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff put their leading designers to work designing the
Olympic-class vessels. The design was overseen by Lord Pirrie , a
director of both
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line; naval
Thomas Andrews , the managing director of Harland and
Wolff's design department; Edward Wilding, Andrews' deputy and
responsible for calculating the ship's design, stability and trim; and
Alexander Carlisle , the shipyard's chief draughtsman and general
manager. Carlisle's responsibilities included the decorations,
equipment and all general arrangements, including the implementation
of an efficient lifeboat davit design.
On 29 July 1908,
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff presented the drawings to J. Bruce
Ismay and other
White Star Line
White Star Line executives. Ismay approved the design
and signed three "letters of agreement" two days later, authorising
the start of construction. At this point the first ship—which was
later to become Olympic—had no name, but was referred to simply as
"Number 400", as it was Harland and Wolff's four hundredth hull.
Titanic was based on a revised version of the same design and was
given the number 401.
DIMENSIONS AND LAYOUT
Titanic in 1912
Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m) long with a maximum breadth
of 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 m). Her total height, measured from the
base of the keel to the top of the bridge, was 104 feet (32 m). She
measured 46,328 gross register tons and with a draught of 34 feet 7
inches (10.54 m), she displaced 52,310 tons.
All three of the Olympic-class ships had ten decks (excluding the top
of the officers' quarters), eight of which were for passenger use.
From top to bottom, the decks were:
* THE BOAT DECK, on which the lifeboats were housed. It was from
here during the early hours of 15 April 1912 that Titanic's lifeboats
were lowered into the North Atlantic. The bridge and wheelhouse were
at the forward end, in front of the captain's and officers' quarters.
The bridge stood 8 feet (2.4 m) above the deck, extending out to
either side so that the ship could be controlled while docking. The
wheelhouse stood directly behind and above the bridge. The entrance to
the First Class Grand Staircase and gymnasium were located midships
along with the raised roof of the First Class lounge, while at the
rear of the deck were the roof of the First Class smoke room and the
relatively modest Second Class entrance. The wood-covered deck was
divided into four segregated promenades: for officers, First Class
passengers, engineers, and Second Class passengers respectively.
Lifeboats lined the side of the deck except in the First Class area,
where there was a gap so that the view would not be spoiled.
* A DECK, also called the PROMENADE DECK, extended along the entire
546 feet (166 m) length of the superstructure. It was reserved
exclusively for First Class passengers and contained First Class
cabins, the First Class lounge, smoke room, reading and writing rooms
and Palm Court.
* B DECK, the BRIDGE DECK, was the top weight-bearing deck and the
uppermost level of the hull. More First Class passenger accommodations
were located here with six palatial staterooms (cabins) featuring
their own private promenades. On Titanic, the À La Carte Restaurant
and the Café Parisien provided luxury dining facilities to First
Class passengers. Both were run by subcontracted chefs and their
staff; all were lost in the disaster. The Second Class smoking room
and entrance hall were both located on this deck. The raised
forecastle of the ship was forward of the Bridge Deck, accommodating
Number 1 hatch (the main hatch through to the cargo holds), numerous
pieces of machinery and the anchor housings. Aft of the Bridge Deck
was the raised Poop Deck, 106 feet (32 m) long, used as a promenade by
Third Class passengers. It was where many of Titanic's passengers and
crew made their last stand as the ship sank. The forecastle and Poop
Deck were separated from the Bridge Deck by well decks .
* C DECK, the SHELTER DECK, was the highest deck to run
uninterrupted from stem to stern. It included both well decks; the aft
one served as part of the Third Class promenade. Crew cabins were
housed below the forecastle and Third Class public rooms were housed
below the Poop Deck. In between were the majority of First Class
cabins and the Second Class library.
* D DECK, the SALOON DECK, was dominated by three large public
rooms—the First Class Reception Room, the First Class Dining Saloon
and the Second Class Dining Saloon. An open space was provided for
Third Class passengers. First, Second and Third Class passengers had
cabins on this deck, with berths for firemen located in the bow. It
was the highest level reached by the ship's watertight bulkheads
(though only by eight of the fifteen bulkheads).
* E DECK, the UPPER DECK, was predominantly used for passenger
accommodation for all three classes plus berths for cooks, seamen,
stewards and trimmers . Along its length ran a long passageway
Scotland Road , in reference to a famous street in
Scotland Road was used by Third Class passengers and crew
* F DECK, the MIDDLE DECK, was the last complete deck and mainly
accommodated Second and Third Class passengers and several departments
of the crew. The Third Class dining saloon was located here, as were
the swimming pool and Turkish bath.
* G DECK, the LOWER DECK, was the lowest complete deck that carried
passengers, and had the lowest portholes, just above the waterline.
The squash court was located here along with the traveling post office
where letters and parcels were sorted ready for delivery when the ship
docked. Food was also stored here. The deck was interrupted at several
points by orlop (partial) decks over the boiler, engine and turbine
* The ORLOP DECKS and the TANK TOP below that were on the lowest
level of the ship, below the waterline. The orlop decks were used as
cargo spaces, while the Tank Top—the inner bottom of the ship's
hull—provided the platform on which the ship's boilers, engines,
turbines and electrical generators were housed. This area of the ship
was occupied by the engine and boiler rooms, areas which passengers
would have been prohibited from seeing. They were connected with
higher levels of the ship by flights of stairs; twin spiral stairways
near the bow provided access up to D Deck.
Rudder with central and port wing propellers for scale note the
man at bottom of the photo
Titanic was equipped with three main engines—two reciprocating
four-cylinder , triple-expansion steam engines and one centrally
placed low-pressure Parsons turbine —each driving a propeller . The
two reciprocating engines had a combined output of 30,000 hp and a
further 16,000 hp was contributed by the turbine. The White Star Line
had used the same combination of engines on an earlier liner, the SS
Laurentic , where it had been a great success. It provided a good
combination of performance and speed; reciprocating engines by
themselves were not powerful enough to propel an Olympic-class liner
at the desired speeds, while turbines were sufficiently powerful but
caused uncomfortable vibrations, a problem that affected the
all-turbine Cunard liners Lusitania and Mauretania . By combining
reciprocating engines with a turbine, fuel usage could be reduced and
motive power increased, while using the same amount of steam.
The two reciprocating engines were each 63 feet (19 m) long and
weighed 720 tons, with their bedplates contributing a further 195
tons. They were powered by steam produced in 29 boilers, 24 of which
were double-ended and five single-ended, which contained a total of
159 furnaces. The boilers were 15 feet 9 inches (4.80 m) in diameter
and 20 feet (6.1 m) long, each weighing 91.5 tons and capable of
holding 48.5 tons of water.
They were heated by burning coal, 6,611 tons of which could be
carried in Titanic's bunkers, with a further 1,092 tons in Hold 3. The
furnaces required over 600 tons of coal a day to be shovelled into
them by hand, requiring the services of 176 firemen working around the
clock. 100 tons of ash a day had to be disposed of by ejecting it
into the sea. The work was relentless, dirty and dangerous, and
although firemen were paid relatively generously there was a high
suicide rate among those who worked in that capacity.
Exhaust steam leaving the reciprocating engines was fed into the
turbine, which was situated aft. From there it passed into a surface
condenser , to increase the efficiency of the turbine and so that the
steam could be condensed back into water and reused. The engines were
attached directly to long shafts which drove the propellers. There
were three, one for each engine; the outer (or wing) propellers were
the largest, each carrying three blades of manganese-bronze alloy with
a total diameter of 23.5 feet (7.2 m). The middle propeller was
slightly smaller at 17 feet (5.2 m) in diameter, and could be stopped
but not reversed.
Titanic's electrical plant was capable of producing more power than
an average city power station of the time. Immediately aft of the
turbine engine were four 400 kW steam-driven electric generators, used
to provide electrical power to the ship, plus two 30 kW auxiliary
generators for emergency use. Their location in the stern of the ship
meant they remained operational until the last few minutes before the
Watertight Compartments And Funnels
The interiors of the Olympic-class ships were subdivided into 16
primary compartments divided by 15 bulkheads which extended well above
the waterline. Eleven vertically closing watertight doors could seal
off the compartments in the event of an emergency. The ship's exposed
decking was made of pine and teak, while interior ceilings were
covered in painted granulated cork to combat condensation. Standing
above the decks were four funnels, each painted buff with black tops,
(though only three were functional—the last one was a dummy,
installed for aesthetic purposes and also for kitchen
ventilation)—and two masts, each 155 feet (47 m) high, which
supported derricks for working cargo.
Rudder And Steering Engines
Titanic's rudder was so large—at 78 feet 8 inches (23.98 m) high
and 15 feet 3 inches (4.65 m) long, weighing over 100 tons—that it
required steering engines to move it. Two steam-powered steering
engines were installed though only one was used at any one time, with
the other one kept in reserve. They were connected to the short tiller
through stiff springs, to isolate the steering engines from any shocks
in heavy seas or during fast changes of direction. As a last resort,
the tiller could be moved by ropes connected to two steam capstans .
The capstans were also used to raise and lower the ship's five anchors
(one port, one starboard, one in the centreline and two kedging
Water, Ventilation And Heating
The ship was equipped with her own waterworks, capable of heating and
pumping water to all parts of the vessel via a complex network of
pipes and valves. The main water supply was taken aboard while Titanic
was in port, but in an emergency the ship could also distil fresh
water from seawater, though this was not a straightforward process as
the distillation plant quickly became clogged by salt deposits. A
network of insulated ducts conveyed warm air, driven by electric fans,
around the ship, and First Class cabins were fitted with additional
Marconi company receiving equipment for a 5 kilowatt ocean liner
Titanic's radiotelegraph equipment (then known as wireless telegraphy
) was leased to the
White Star Line
White Star Line by the Marconi International
Marine Communication Company , which also supplied two of its
employees, Jack Phillips and
Harold Bride , as operators. The service
maintained a 24-hour schedule, primarily sending and receiving
passenger telegrams, but also handling navigation messages including
weather reports and ice warnings.
The radio room was located on the Boat Deck, in the officers'
quarters. A soundproofed "Silent Room", next to the operating room,
housed loud equipment, including the transmitter and a motor-generator
used for producing alternating currents. The operators' living
quarters were adjacent to the working office. The ship was equipped
with a 'state of the art' 5 kilowatt rotary spark-gap transmitter ,
operating under the radio callsign MGY, and communication was
Morse code . This transmitter was one of the first
Marconi installations to use a rotary spark gap, which gave
distinctive musical tone that could be readily distinguished from
other signals. The transmitter was one of the most powerful in the
world, and guaranteed to broadcast over a radius of 350 miles (563
km). An elevated
T-antenna that spanned the length of the ship was
used for transmitting and receiving. The normal operating frequency
was 500 kHz (600 m wavelength), however the equipment could also
operate on the "short" wavelength of 1000 kHz (300 m wavelength) that
was employed by smaller vessels with shorter antennas.
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First class facilities of the RMS Titanic
First class facilities of the RMS Titanic and
Second and Third-Class Facilities on the RMS Titanic
Second and Third-Class Facilities on the RMS Titanic
The passenger facilities aboard
Titanic aimed to meet the highest
standards of luxury. According to Titanic's general arrangement plans,
the ship could accommodate 833 First Class Passengers, 614 in Second
Class and 1,006 in Third Class, for a total passenger capacity of
2,453. In addition, her capacity for crew members exceeded 900, as
most documents of her original configuration have stated that her full
carrying capacity for both passengers and crew was approximately
3,547. Her interior design was a departure from that of other
passenger liners, which had typically been decorated in the rather
heavy style of a manor house or an
English country house
English country house .
Titanic was laid out in a much lighter style similar to that of
contemporary high-class hotels—the Ritz Hotel was a reference
point—with First Class cabins finished in the
Empire style . A
variety of other decorative styles, ranging from the
Louis XV , were used to decorate cabins and public rooms in First and
Second Class areas of the ship. The aim was to convey an impression
that the passengers were in a floating hotel rather than a ship; as
one passenger recalled, on entering the ship's interior a passenger
would "at once lose the feeling that we are on board ship, and seem
instead to be entering the hall of some great house on shore".
Among the more novel features available to first-class passengers was
a 7 ft. deep saltwater swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash court, and
Turkish bath which comprised electric bath , steam room, cool room,
massage room, and hot room. First-class common rooms were impressive
in scope and lavishly decorated. They included a Lounge in the style
Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles , an enormous Reception Room, a men's
Smoking Room, and a Reading and Writing Room. There was an À la Carte
Restaurant in the style of the Ritz Hotel which was run as a
concession by the famous Italian restaurateur Gaspare Gatti. A Café
Parisien decorated in the style of a French sidewalk café, complete
with ivy covered trellises and wicker furniture, was run as an annex
to the restaurant. For an extra cost, first-class passengers could
enjoy the finest French haute cuisine in the most luxurious of
surroundings. There was also a Verandah Café where tea and light
refreshments were served, that offered grand views of the ocean. At
114 ft. long X 92 ft. wide, the Dining Saloon on D-Deck was the
largest room afloat and could seat almost 600 passengers at a time.
Third Class (commonly referred to as Steerage) accommodations aboard
Titanic were not as luxurious as First or Second Class, but even so
were better than on many other ships of the time. They reflected the
improved standards which the
White Star Line
White Star Line had adopted for
trans-Atlantic immigrant and lower-class travel. On most other North
Atlantic passenger ships at the time, Third Class accommodations
consisted of little more than open dormitories in the forward end of
the vessels, in which hundreds of people were confined, often without
adequate food or toilet facilities.
White Star Line
White Star Line had long since broken that mould. As seen aboard
White Star Line
White Star Line passenger ships divided their Third Class
accommodations into two sections, always at opposite ends of the
vessel from one another. The established arrangement was that single
men were quartered in the forward areas, while single women, married
couples and families were quartered aft. In addition, while other
ships provided only open berth sleeping arrangements, White Star Line
vessels provided their Third Class passengers with private, small but
comfortable cabins capable of accommodating two, four, six, eight and
Third Class accommodations also included their own dining rooms, as
well as public gathering areas including adequate open deck space,
Titanic comprised the Poop Deck at the stern, the forward
and aft well decks, and a large open space on D Deck which could be
used as a social hall. This was supplemented by the addition of a
smoking room for men and a General Room on C Deck which women could
use for reading and writing. Although they were not as glamorous in
design as spaces seen in upper class accommodations, they were still
far above average for the period.
Leisure facilities were provided for all three classes to pass the
time. As well as making use of the indoor amenities such as the
library, smoking rooms, and gymnasium, it was also customary for
passengers to socialise on the open deck, promenading or relaxing in
hired deck chairs or wooden benches. A passenger list was published
before the sailing to inform the public which members of the great and
good were on board, and it was not uncommon for ambitious mothers to
use the list to identify rich bachelors to whom they could introduce
their marriageable daughters during the voyage.
One of Titanic's most distinctive features was her First Class
staircase, known as the Grand Staircase or Grand Stairway. Built of
English oak with a sweeping curve, the staircase descended
through seven decks of the ship, between the Boat Deck to E deck,
before terminating in a simplified single flight on F Deck. It was
capped with a dome of wrought iron and glass that admitted natural
light to the stairwell. Each landing off the staircase gave access to
ornate entrance halls paneled in the William max-width:838px"> The
gymnasium on the Boat Deck, which was equipped with the latest
exercise machines The famous Grand Staircase, which connected Boat
Deck and E Deck Swimming Pool on the
MAIL AND CARGO
La Circassienne au Bain
La Circassienne au Bain ; the most highly valued item of cargo
lost on the Titanic.
Titanic was primarily a passenger liner, she also carried a
substantial amount of cargo. Her designation as a
Royal Mail Ship
(RMS) indicated that she carried mail under contract with the Royal
Mail (and also for the
United States Post Office Department ). For the
storage of letters, parcels and specie (bullion, coins and other
valuables), 26,800 cubic feet (760 m3) of space in her holds was
allocated. The Sea Post Office on G Deck was manned by five postal
clerks; three Americans and two Britons, who worked 13 hours a day,
seven days a week sorting up to 60,000 items daily.
The ship's passengers brought with them a huge amount of baggage;
another 19,455 cubic feet (550.9 m3) was taken up by first- and
second-class baggage. In addition, there was a considerable quantity
of regular cargo, ranging from furniture to foodstuffs, and a 1912
Renault Type CE Couple de Ville motor car. Despite later myths, the
cargo on Titanic's maiden voyage was fairly mundane; there was no
gold, exotic minerals or diamonds, and one of the more famous items
lost in the shipwreck, a jewelled copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
, was valued at only £405 (£36,800 today). According to the claims
for compensation filed with Commissioner Gilchrist, following the
conclusion of the Senate Inquiry, the single most highly valued item
of luggage or cargo was a large neoclassical oil painting entitled La
Circassienne au Bain by French artist
Merry-Joseph Blondel . The
painting's owner, first class passenger Mauritz Håkan
Björnström-Steffansson , filed a claim for $100,000 ($2.4 million
equivalent in 2014) in compensation for the loss of the artwork.
Titanic was equipped with eight electric cranes, four electric
winches and three steam winches to lift cargo and baggage in and out
of the hold. It is estimated that the ship used some 415 tons of coal
whilst in Southampton, simply generating steam to operate the cargo
winches and provide heat and light.
Lifeboats of the RMS Titanic A collapsible
lifeboat with canvas sides
Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats: 14 standard wooden Harland
and Wolff lifeboats with a capacity of 65 people each and four
Englehardt "collapsible" (wooden bottom, collapsible canvas sides)
lifeboats (identified as A to D) with a capacity of 47 people each. In
addition, she had two emergency cutters with a capacity of 40 people
each. Olympic herself did not even carry the four collapsibles A–D
during the 1911–12 season. All of the lifeboats were stowed securely
on the boat deck and, except for collapsible lifeboats A and B,
connected to davits by ropes. Those on the starboard side were
odd-numbered 1–15 from bow to stern, while those on the port side
were even-numbered 2–16 from bow to stern.
Both cutters were kept swung out, hanging from the davits, ready for
immediate use, while collapsible lifeboats C and D were stowed on the
boat deck (connected to davits) immediately inboard of boats 1 and 2
respectively. A and B were stored on the roof of the officers'
quarters, on either side of number 1 funnel. There were no davits to
lower them and their weight would make them difficult to launch by
hand. Each boat carried (among other things) food, water, blankets,
and a spare life belt. Lifeline ropes on the boats' sides enabled them
to save additional people from the water if necessary.
Titanic had 16 sets of davits, each able to handle four lifeboats.
Titanic the ability to carry up to 64 wooden lifeboats
which would have been enough for 4,000 people—considerably more than
her actual capacity. However, the
White Star Line
White Star Line decided that only 16
wooden lifeboats and four collapsibles would be carried, which could
accommodate 1,178 people, only one-third of Titanic's total capacity.
At the time, the Board of Trade's regulations required British vessels
over 10,000 tons to only carry 16 lifeboats with a capacity of 990
White Star Line
White Star Line actually provided more lifeboat
accommodation than was legally required. At the time, lifeboats were
intended to ferry survivors from a sinking ship to a rescuing
ship—not keep afloat the whole population or power them to shore.
SS Californian responded to Titanic's distress calls , the
lifeboats may have been adequate to ferry the passengers to safety as
BUILDING AND PREPARING THE SHIP
CONSTRUCTION, LAUNCH AND FITTING-OUT
Titanic Disaster – Genuine Footage (1911–1912)
The sheer size of
Titanic and her sister ships posed a major
engineering challenge for Harland and Wolff; no shipbuilder had ever
before attempted to construct vessels this size . The ships were
constructed on Queen's Island, now known as the
Titanic Quarter , in
Belfast Harbour .
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff had to demolish three existing
slipways and build two new ones, the largest ever constructed up to
that time, to accommodate both ships. Their construction was
facilitated by an enormous gantry built by Sir William Arrol ">'s keel
laid down first on 16 December 1908 and Titanic's on 31 March 1909.
Both ships took about 26 months to build and followed much the same
construction process. They were designed essentially as an enormous
floating box girder , with the keel acting as a backbone and the
frames of the hull forming the ribs. At the base of the ships, a
double bottom 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) deep supported 300 frames, each
between 24 inches (61 cm) and 36 inches (91 cm) apart and measuring up
to about 66 feet (20 m) long. They terminated at the bridge deck (B
Deck) and were covered with steel plates which formed the outer skin
of the ships.
The 2,000 hull plates were single pieces of rolled steel plate ,
mostly up to 6 feet (1.8 m) wide and 30 feet (9.1 m) long and weighing
between 2.5 and 3 tons. Their thickness varied from 1 inch (2.5 cm)
to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). The plates were laid in a clinkered
(overlapping) fashion from the keel to the bilge. Above that point
they were laid in the "in and out" fashion, where strake plating was
applied in bands (the "in strakes") with the gaps covered by the "out
strakes", overlapping on the edges. Commercial oxy-fuel and electric
arc welding methods, ubiquitous in fabrication today, were still in
their infancy; like most other iron and steel structures of the era,
the hull was held together with over three million iron and steel
rivets , which by themselves weighed over 1,200 tons. They were fitted
using hydraulic machines or were hammered in by hand. In the 1990s
some material scientists concluded that the steel plate used for the
ship was subject to being especially brittle when cold, and that this
brittleness exacerbated the impact damage and hastened the sinking. It
is believed that, by the standards of the time, the steel plate's
quality was good, not faulty, but that it was inferior to what would
be used for shipbuilding purposes in later decades, owing to advances
in the metallurgy of steelmaking . As for the rivets, considerable
emphasis has also been placed on their quality and strength.
One of the last items to be fitted on
Titanic before the ship's
launch was her two side anchors and one centre anchor. The anchors
themselves were a challenge to make with the centre anchor being the
largest ever forged by hand and weighing nearly 16 tons. Twenty
Clydesdale draught horses were needed to haul the centre anchor by
wagon from the Noah Hingley a lot of the work was dangerous and was
carried out without any safety equipment like hard hats or hand guards
on machinery. As a result, deaths and injuries were to be expected.
During Titanic's construction, 246 injuries were recorded, 28 of them
"severe", such as arms severed by machines or legs crushed under
falling pieces of steel. Six people died on the ship herself while she
was being constructed and fitted out, and another two died in the
shipyard workshops and sheds. Just before the launch a worker was
killed when a piece of wood fell on him.
Titanic was launched at 12:15 p.m. on 31 May 1911 in the presence of
Lord Pirrie, J. Pierpoint Morgan,
J. Bruce Ismay
J. Bruce Ismay and 100,000
onlookers. 22 tons of soap and tallow were spread on the slipway to
lubricate the ship's passage into the
River Lagan . In keeping with
the White Star Line's traditional policy, the ship was not formally
named or christened with champagne. The ship was towed to a
fitting-out berth where, over the course of the next year, her
engines, funnels and superstructure were installed and her interior
was fitted out.
Titanic was virtually identical to the class's lead ship
Olympic, a few changes were made to distinguish both ships. The most
noticeable of these was that
Titanic (and the third vessel in class,
Britannic ) had a steel screen with sliding windows installed along
the forward half of the A Deck promenade. This was installed as a last
minute change at the personal request of Bruce Ismay, and was intended
to provide additional shelter to first class passengers. These
Titanic slightly heavier than her sister, and thus she
could claim to be the largest ship afloat. The work took longer than
expected due to design changes requested by Ismay and a temporary
pause in work occasioned by the need to repair Olympic, which had been
in a collision in September 1911. Had
Titanic been finished earlier,
she might well have missed her collision with an iceberg.
Construction in gantry, 1909–11
Launch, 1911 (unfinished superstructure)
Belfast for her sea trials on 2 April 1912
Titanic's sea trials began at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, 2 April 1912, just
two days after her fitting out was finished and eight days before she
was due to leave
Southampton on her maiden voyage. The trials were
delayed for a day due to bad weather, but by Monday morning it was
clear and fair. Aboard were 78 stokers, greasers and firemen, and 41
members of crew. No domestic staff appear to have been aboard.
Representatives of various companies travelled on Titanic's sea
Thomas Andrews and Edward Wilding of
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff and
Harold A. Sanderson of IMM. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie were too ill
to attend. Jack Phillips and
Harold Bride served as radio operators,
and performed fine-tuning of the Marconi equipment. Francis
Carruthers, a surveyor from the Board of Trade, was also present to
see that everything worked, and that the ship was fit to carry
The sea trials consisted of a number of tests of her handling
characteristics, carried out first in
Belfast Lough and then in the
open waters of the
Irish Sea . Over the course of about 12 hours,
Titanic was driven at different speeds, the turning ability was tested
and a "crash stop" was performed in which the engines were reversed
full ahead to full astern, bringing her to a stop in 850 yd (777 m) or
3 minutes and 15 seconds. The ship covered a distance of about 80
nautical miles (92 mi; 150 km), averaging 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h)
and reaching a maximum speed of just under 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h).
On returning to
Belfast at about 7 p.m., the surveyor signed an
"Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew", valid for 12 months,
which declared the ship seaworthy. An hour later,
Belfast to head to Southampton, a voyage of about 570 nautical miles
(660 mi; 1,060 km). After a journey lasting about 28 hours and arrived
about midnight on 4 April and was towed to the port's Berth 44, ready
for the arrival of her passengers and the remainder of her crew.
Both Olympic and
Liverpool as their home port. The
offices of the
White Star Line
White Star Line as well as Cunard were in Liverpool,
and up until the introduction of the Olympic, most British ocean
liners for both Cunard and White Star, such as Lusitania and
Mauretania, sailed out of
Liverpool followed by a port of call in
Queenstown, Ireland . Since the company's founding in 1871, a vast
majority of their operations had taken place out of Liverpool.
However, in 1907 White Star established another service out of the
Southampton on England's south coast, which became known as
White Star's "Express Service".
Southampton had many advantages over
Liverpool, the first being its proximity to London.
In addition, Southampton, being on the south coast, allowed ships to
easily cross the
English Channel and make a port of call on the
northern coast of France, usually at
Cherbourg . This allowed British
ships to pick up clientele from continental Europe before recrossing
the channel and picking up passengers at Queenstown. The
Southampton-Cherbourg-New York run would become so popular that most
British ocean liners began using the port after
World War I
World War I . Out of
respect for Liverpool, ships continued to be registered there until
the early 1960s.
Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2 was one of the first ships
Southampton when introduced into service by Cunard in
Titanic's maiden voyage was intended to be the first of many
trans-Atlantic crossings between
Southampton and New York via
Cherbourg and Queenstown on westbound runs, returning via
England while eastbound. Indeed, her entire schedule of voyages
through to December 1912 still exists. When the route was
established, four ships were assigned to the service. In addition to
Teutonic and Majestic, the RMS Oceanic and the brand new RMS Adriatic
sailed the route. When the Olympic entered service in June 1911, she
replaced Teutonic, which after completing her last run on the service
in late April was transferred to the Dominion Line's Canadian service.
The following August, Adriatic was transferred to White Star's main
Liverpool-New York service, and in November, Majestic was withdrawn
from service impending the arrival of
Titanic in the coming months,
and was mothballed as a reserve ship.
White Star's initial plans for Olympic and
Titanic on the Southampton
run followed the same routine as their predecessors had done before
them. Each would sail once every three weeks from
Southampton and New
York, usually leaving at noon each Wednesday from
Southampton and each
Saturday from New York, thus enabling the
White Star Line
White Star Line to offer
weekly sailings in each direction.
Special trains were scheduled from
London and Paris to convey passengers to
Southampton and Cherbourg
respectively. The deep-water dock at Southampton, then known as the
"White Star Dock", had been specially constructed to accommodate the
new Olympic-class liners, and had opened in 1911.
Edward Smith , captain of Titanic, in 1911
Southampton docks, prior to departure
Display ad for Titanic's first but never made sailing from New
York on 20 April 1912
Crew of the RMS Titanic
Crew of the RMS Titanic
Titanic had around 885 crew members on board for her maiden voyage.
Like other vessels of her time, she did not have a permanent crew, and
the vast majority of crew members were casual workers who only came
aboard the ship a few hours before she sailed from Southampton. The
process of signing up recruits had begun on 23 March and some had been
sent to Belfast, where they served as a skeleton crew during Titanic's
sea trials and passage to England at the start of April.
Captain Edward John Smith , the most senior of the White Star Line's
captains, was transferred from Olympic to take command of Titanic.
Henry Tingle Wilde also came across from Olympic to take the post of
Chief Mate . Titanic's previously designated
Chief Mate and First
William McMaster Murdoch and
Charles Lightoller , were bumped
down to the ranks of First and Second Officer respectively. The
original Second Officer, David Blair , was dropped altogether. The
Third Officer was
MBE , the only deck officer who was
not a member of the
Royal Naval Reserve
Royal Naval Reserve . Pitman was the second to
last surviving officer.
Titanic's crew were divided into three principal departments: Deck,
with 66 crew; Engine, with 325; and Victualling (pronounced
vi-tal-ling), with 494. The vast majority of the crew were thus not
seamen, but were either engineers, firemen, or stokers, responsible
for looking after the engines, or stewards and galley staff,
responsible for the passengers. Of these, over 97% were male; just 23
of the crew were female, mainly stewardesses. The rest represented a
great variety of professions—bakers, chefs, butchers, fishmongers,
dishwashers, stewards, gymnasium instructors, laundrymen, waiters,
bed-makers, cleaners, and even a printer, who produced a daily
newspaper for passengers called the Atlantic Daily Bulletin with the
latest news received by the ship's wireless operators.
Most of the crew signed on in
Southampton on 6 April; in all, 699 of
the crew came from there, and 40% were natives of the town. A few
specialist staff were self-employed or were subcontractors. These
included the five postal clerks, who worked for the
Royal Mail and the
United States Post Office Department, the staff of the First Class A
La Carte Restaurant and the Café Parisien, the radio operators (who
were employed by Marconi) and the eight musicians, who were employed
by an agency and travelled as second-class passengers. Crew pay
varied greatly, from Captain Smith's £105 a month (equivalent to
£9,500 today) to the £3 10s (£320 today) that stewardesses earned.
The lower-paid victualling staff could, however, supplement their
wages substantially through tips from passengers.
Passengers of the RMS Titanic
Passengers of the RMS Titanic John Jacob Astor IV
in 1909. He was the wealthiest person aboard Titanic.
Titanic's passengers numbered approximately 1,317 people: 324 in
First Class, 284 in Second Class, and 709 in Third Class. Of these,
869 (66%) were male and 447 (34%) female. There were 107 children
aboard, the largest number of which were in Third Class. The ship was
considerably under capacity on her maiden voyage, as she could
accommodate 2,453 passengers—833 First Class, 614 Second Class, and
1,006 Third Class.
Usually, a high prestige vessel like
Titanic could expect to be fully
booked on its maiden voyage. However, a national coal strike in the UK
had caused considerable disruption to shipping schedules in the spring
of 1912, causing many crossings to be cancelled. Many would-be
passengers chose to postpone their travel plans until the strike was
over. The strike had finished a few days before
however, that was too late to have much of an effect.
Titanic was able
to sail on the scheduled date only because coal was transferred from
other vessels which were tied up at Southampton, such as SS City of
New York and RMS Oceanic , as well as coal Olympic had brought back
from a previous voyage to New York, which had been stored at the White
Some of the most prominent people of the day booked a passage aboard
Titanic, travelling in First Class. Among them were the American
John Jacob Astor IV
John Jacob Astor IV and his wife Madeleine Force Astor ,
Benjamin Guggenheim , painter and sculptor Francis Davis
Millet , Macy\'s owner
Isidor Straus and his wife Ida , Denver
millionairess Margaret "Molly" Brown , Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his
wife, couturière Lucy (Lady Duff-Gordon) , Lieut. Col. Arthur Peuchen
, writer and historian Archibald Gracie , cricketer and businessman
John B. Thayer with his wife Marian and son Jack , George Dunton
Widener with his wife Eleanor and son Harry , Noël Leslie, Countess
of Rothes , Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Hays , Mr. and Mrs. Henry S.
Harper , Mr. and Mrs. Walter D. Douglas , Mr. and Mrs. George D. Wick
, Mr. and Mrs.
Henry B. Harris , Mr. and Mrs. Arthur L. Ryerson , Mr.
and Mrs. Hudson J. C. Allison , Mr. and Mrs.
Dickinson Bishop , noted
Edward Austin Kent , brewery heir Harry Molson , tennis
Karl Behr and Dick Williams , author and socialite Helen
Churchill Candee , future lawyer and suffragette
Elsie Bowerman and
her mother Edith, journalist and social reformer William Thomas Stead
, journalist and fashion buyer
Edith Rosenbaum ,
Philadelphia and New
Edith Corse Evans
Edith Corse Evans , wealthy divorcée Charlotte Drake
Cardeza , French sculptor Paul Chevré , author
Jacques Futrelle with
his wife May, silent film actress
Dorothy Gibson with her mother
Pauline, Alfons Simonius-Blumer, Swiss Army Colonel and Banker,
President of the Swiss Bankverein ,
James A. Hughes
James A. Hughes 's daughter Eloise
Robert Williams Daniel , the chairman of the Holland America
Line , Johan Reuchlin ,
Arthur Wellington Ross 's son John H. Ross,
Washington Roebling 's nephew Washington A. Roebling II, Andrew Saks
's daughter Leila Saks Meyer with her husband, senator William A.
Clark 's nephew Walter M. Clark with his wife Virginia,
great-great-grandson of soap manufacturer
Andrew Pears , Thomas C.
Pears, with wife,
John S. Pillsbury
John S. Pillsbury 's honeymooning grandson John P.
Snyder and wife, Nelle,
Dorothy Parker 's New York manufacturer uncle
Martin Rothschild with his wife, Elizabeth, among others.
J. P. Morgan
J. P. Morgan was scheduled to travel on the maiden
voyage but cancelled at the last minute. Also aboard the ship were
the White Star Line's managing director
J. Bruce Ismay
J. Bruce Ismay and Titanic's
Thomas Andrews , who was on board to observe any problems and
assess the general performance of the new ship.
The exact number of people aboard is not known, as not all of those
who had booked tickets made it to the ship; about 50 people cancelled
for various reasons, and not all of those who boarded stayed aboard
for the entire journey. Fares varied depending on class and season.
Third Class fares from London, Southampton, or Queenstown cost £7 5s
(equivalent to £700 today) while the cheapest First Class fares cost
£23 (£2,100 today). The most expensive First Class suites were to
have cost up to £870 in high season (£79,000 today).
On Wednesday 10 April 1912 Titanic's maiden voyage began. Following
the embarkation of the crew the passengers began arriving from 9:30
a.m., when the
London and South Western Railway 's boat train from
London Waterloo station reached
Southampton Terminus railway station
on the quayside, alongside Titanic's berth. In all, 923 passengers
Titanic at Southampton, 179 First Class, 247 Second Class and
494 Third Class. The large number of Third Class passengers meant they
were the first to board, with First and Second Class passengers
following up to an hour before departure. Stewards showed them to
their cabins, and First Class passengers were personally greeted by
Captain Smith on boarding. Third Class passengers were inspected for
ailments and physical impairments that might lead to their being
refused entry to the United States – a prospect the White Star Line
wished to avoid, as it would have to carry anyone who failed the
examination back across the Atlantic. 922 passengers were recorded as
Titanic at Southampton. Additional passengers were to
be picked up at
Cherbourg and Queenstown .
The maiden voyage began on time, at noon. An accident was narrowly
averted only a few minutes later as
Titanic passed the moored liners
SS City of New York of the
American Line and what would have been her
running mate on the service from Southampton, White Star's Oceanic.
Her huge displacement caused both of the smaller ships to be lifted by
a bulge of water and then drop into a trough. New York's mooring
cables could not take the sudden strain and snapped, swinging her
around stern-first towards Titanic. A nearby tugboat, Vulcan, came to
the rescue by taking New York under tow, and Captain Smith ordered
Titanic's engines to be put "full astern". The two ships avoided a
collision by a matter of about 4 feet (1.2 m). The incident delayed
Titanic's departure for about an hour, while the drifting New York was
brought under control.
After making it safely through the complex tides and channels of
Southampton Water and the
Titanic headed out into the English
Channel . She headed for the French port of Cherbourg, a journey of 77
nautical miles (89 mi; 143 km). The weather was windy, very fine but
cold and overcast. Because
Cherbourg lacked docking facilities for a
ship the size of Titanic, tenders had to be used to transfer
passengers from shore to ship. The
White Star Line
White Star Line operated two at
Cherbourg, the SS Traffic and the SS Nomadic . Both had been designed
specifically as tenders for the Olympic-class liners and were launched
shortly after Titanic. (Nomadic is today the only White Star Line
ship still afloat.) Four hours after
Titanic left Southampton, she
Cherbourg and was met by the tenders. 274 additional
passengers were taken aboard, 142 First Class, 30 Second Class, and
102 Third Class. Twenty-four passengers who had booked passage only
Southampton left aboard the tenders to be conveyed
to shore. The process was completed within only 90 minutes and at 8
Titanic weighed anchor and left for Queenstown with the weather
continuing cold and windy.
At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday 11 April,
Titanic arrived at Cork Harbour
on the south coast of Ireland. It was a partly cloudy but relatively
warm day, with a brisk wind. Again, the dock facilities were not
suitable for a ship of Titanic's size, and tenders were used to bring
passengers aboard. In all, 123 passengers boarded
Queenstown, 3 First Class, 7 Second Class and 113 Third Class. In
addition to the 24 cross-channel passengers who had disembarked at
Cherbourg, another seven passengers had booked an overnight passage
Southampton to Queenstown. Among the seven was Father Francis
Browne , a
Jesuit trainee, who was a keen photographer and took many
photographs aboard Titanic, including the last-ever known photograph
of the ship. A decidedly unofficial departure was that of a crew
member, stoker John Coffey, a Queenstown native who sneaked off the
ship by hiding under mail bags being transported to shore. Titanic
weighed anchor for the last time at 1:30 p.m. and departed on her
westward journey across the Atlantic.
Titanic (right) after the near-collision with City of New York
(left, together with Oceanic at the far left)
Titanic in Cork harbour, 11 April 1912
The route of Titanic's maiden voyage, with the coordinates of its
Titanic was planned to arrive at New York
Pier 54 on the morning of
17 April. After leaving Queenstown
Titanic followed the Irish coast
as far as
Fastnet Rock , a distance of some 55 nautical miles (63 mi;
102 km). From there she travelled 1,620 nautical miles (1,860 mi;
3,000 km) along a
Great Circle route across the North Atlantic to
reach a spot in the ocean known as "the corner" south-east of
Newfoundland, where westbound steamers carried out a change of course.
Titanic sailed only a few hours past the corner on a rhumb line leg of
1,023 nautical miles (1,177 mi; 1,895 km) to
Nantucket Shoals Light
when she made her fatal contact with an iceberg. The final leg of the
journey would have been 193 nautical miles (222 mi; 357 km) to Ambrose
Light and finally to
New York Harbor
New York Harbor .
From 11 April to local apparent noon the next day,
484 nautical miles (557 mi; 896 km); the following day, 519 nautical
miles (597 mi; 961 km); and by noon on the final day of her voyage,
546 nautical miles (628 mi; 1,011 km). From then until the time of her
sinking she travelled another 258 nautical miles (297 mi; 478 km),
averaging about 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h).
The weather cleared as she left Ireland under cloudy skies with a
headwind. Temperatures remained fairly mild on Saturday 13 April, but
the following day
Titanic crossed a cold weather front with strong
winds and waves of up to 8 feet (2.4 m). These died down as the day
progressed until, by the evening of Sunday 14 April, it became clear,
calm and very cold.
The first three days of the voyage from Queenstown had passed without
apparent incident. A fire had begun in one of Titanic's coal bunkers
approximately 10 days prior to the ship's departure, and continued to
burn for several days into its voyage, but passengers were unaware of
this situation. Fires occurred frequently on board steamships of that
day due to spontaneous combustion of the coal. The fires had to be
extinguished with fire hoses, by moving the coal on top to another
bunker and by removing the burning coal and feeding it into the
furnace. Fortunately, the fire was over on 14 April.
Titanic received a series of warnings from other ships of drifting
ice in the area of the
Grand Banks of Newfoundland
Grand Banks of Newfoundland . One of the ships
Titanic was the Atlantic Line's Mesaba . Nevertheless, the
ship continued to steam at full speed, which was standard practice at
the time. Although the ship was not trying to set a speed record,
timekeeping was a priority, and under prevailing maritime practices,
ships were often operated at close to full speed, with ice warnings
seen as advisories and reliance placed upon lookouts and the watch on
the bridge. It was generally believed that ice posed little danger to
large vessels. Close calls with ice were not uncommon, and even
head-on collisions had not been disastrous. In 1907 SS Kronprinz
Wilhelm , a German liner, had rammed an iceberg but still had been
able to complete her voyage, and Captain Smith himself had declared in
1907 that he "could not imagine any condition which would cause a ship
to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that."
Sinking of the RMS Titanic
Sinking of the RMS Titanic
At 11:40 p.m. (ship\'s time ) on 14 April, lookout Frederick Fleet
spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of
Titanic and alerted the
bridge. First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to be steered
around the obstacle and the engines to be stopped, but it was too
late; the starboard side of
Titanic struck the iceberg, creating a
series of holes below the waterline. The hull was not punctured by
the iceberg, but rather dented such that the hull's seams buckled and
separated, allowing water to seep in. Five of the ship's watertight
compartments were breached. It soon became clear that the ship was
doomed, as she could not survive more than four compartments being
Titanic began sinking bow-first, with water spilling from
compartment to compartment as her angle in the water became steeper.
Titanic were ill-prepared for such an emergency. In
accordance with accepted practices of the time, where ships were seen
as largely unsinkable and lifeboats were intended to transfer
passengers to nearby rescue vessels,
Titanic only had enough
lifeboats to carry about half of those on board; if the ship had
carried her full complement of about 3,339 passengers and crew, only
about a third could have been accommodated in the lifeboats. The crew
had not been trained adequately in carrying out an evacuation. The
officers did not know how many they could safely put aboard the
lifeboats and launched many of them barely half-full. Third-class
passengers were largely left to fend for themselves, causing many of
them to become trapped below decks as the ship filled with water. The
"women and children first " protocol was generally followed when
loading the lifeboats, and most of the male passengers and crew were
At 2:20 a.m., two hours and 40 minutes after
Titanic struck the
iceberg, her rate of sinking suddenly increased as her forward deck
dipped underwater, and the sea poured in through open hatches and
grates. As her unsupported stern rose out of the water, exposing the
propellers, the ship began to break in two between the third and
fourth funnels, due to the immense forces on the keel. With the bow
underwater, and air trapped in the stern, the stern remained afloat
and buoyant for a few minutes longer, rising to a nearly vertical
angle with hundreds of people still clinging to it, before sinking.
For many years it was generally believed the ship sank in one piece;
however, when the wreck was located many years later, it was
discovered that the ship had fully broken in two. All remaining
passengers and crew were immersed into lethally cold water with a
temperature of 28 °F (−2 °C). Almost all of those in the water
died of cardiac arrest or other bodily reactions to freezing water,
within 15–30 minutes. Only 13 of them were helped into the
lifeboats, though these had room for almost 500 more people.
Distress signals were sent by wireless, rockets, and lamp, but none
of the ships that responded was near enough to reach
she sank. A radio operator on board the Birma , for instance,
estimated that it would be 6 a.m. before the liner could arrive at the
scene. Meanwhile, the
SS Californian , which was the last to have been
in contact before the collision, saw Titanic's flares but failed to
assist. Around 4 a.m.,
RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene in response
to Titanic's earlier distress calls.
About 710 people survived the disaster and were conveyed by Carpathia
to New York, Titanic's original destination, while at least 1,500
people lost their lives. Carpathia's captain described the place as
an ice field that had included 20 large bergs measuring up to 200 feet
(61 m) high and numerous smaller bergs, as well as ice floes and
debris from Titanic; passengers described being in the middle of a
vast white plain of ice, studded with icebergs. This area is now
Iceberg Alley .
The sinking, according to J. Thayer, sketched onboard Carpathia,
based on his description
The iceberg thought to have been hit by Titanic, photographed on
the morning of 15 April 1912.
"Untergang der Titanic", as conceived by
Willy Stöwer , 1912
AFTERMATH OF SINKING
ARRIVAL OF CARPATHIA IN NEW YORK
London newsboy Ned Parfett with news of the disaster.
RMS Carpathia took three days to reach New York after leaving the
scene of the disaster. Her journey was slowed by pack ice, fog,
thunderstorms and rough seas. She was, however, able to pass news to
the outside world by wireless about what had happened. The initial
reports were confused, leading the American press to report
erroneously on 15 April that
Titanic was being towed to port by the SS
Later that day, confirmation came through that
Titanic had been lost
and that most of her passengers and crew had died. The news attracted
crowds of people to the White Star Line's offices in London, New York,
Liverpool and Belfast. It hit hardest in
Southampton, whose people suffered the greatest losses from the
sinking. Four out of every five crew members came from this town.
Carpathia docked at 9:30 p.m. on 18 April at New York's
Pier 54 and
was greeted by some 40,000 people waiting at the quayside in heavy
rain. Immediate relief in the form of clothing and transportation to
shelters was provided by the Women's Relief Committee, the Travelers
Aid Society of New York , and the Council of Jewish Women , among
other organisations. Many of Titanic's surviving passengers did not
linger in New York but headed onwards immediately to relatives' homes.
Some of the wealthier survivors chartered private trains to take them
home, and the
Pennsylvania Railroad laid on a special train free of
charge to take survivors to
Philadelphia . Titanic's 214 surviving
crew members were taken to the
Red Star Line 's steamer
SS Lapland ,
where they were accommodated in passenger cabins.
Carpathia was hurriedly restocked with food and provisions before
resuming her journey to Fiume ,
Austria-Hungary . Her crew were given
a bonus of a month's wages by Cunard as a reward for their actions,
and some of Titanic's passengers joined together to give them an
additional bonus of nearly £900 (£82,000 today), divided among the
The ship's arrival in New York led to a frenzy of press interest,
with newspapers competing to be the first to report the survivors'
stories. Some reporters bribed their way aboard the pilot boat New
York, which guided Carpathia into harbour, and one even managed to get
onto Carpathia before she docked. Crowds gathered outside newspaper
offices to see the latest reports being posted in the windows or on
billboards. It took another four days for a complete list of
casualties to be compiled and released, adding to the agony of
relatives waiting for news of those who had been aboard Titanic.
Arrival of Titanic's survivors at New York (artist concept)
Cartoon demanding better safety from shipping companies, 1912
Arthur Rostron awarded by Margaret Brown, 1912
INSURANCE AND AID FOR SURVIVORS
In January 1912, the hulls and equipment of
Titanic and Olympic had
been insured through Lloyd\'s of London . The total coverage was
£1,000,000 (£91,000,000 today) per ship. The policy was to be "free
from all average" under £150,000, meaning that the insurers would
only pay for damage in excess of that sum. The premium, negotiated by
brokers Willis Faber ">'s lost crew members, raising nearly £450,000
(£41,000,000 today). One such fund was still in operation as late as
INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE DISASTER
Main articles: United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the
Titanic and British Wreck Commissioner\'s inquiry into the sinking
of the RMS
Even before the survivors arrived in New York, investigations were
being planned to discover what had happened, and what could be done to
prevent a recurrence. Inquiries were held in both the United States
and United Kingdom, the former more robustly critical of traditions
and practices, and scathing of the failures involved, and the latter
broadly more technical and expert-oriented.
The U.S. Senate\'s inquiry into the disaster was initiated on 19
April, a day after Carpathia arrived in New York. The chairman,
William Alden Smith
William Alden Smith , wanted to gather accounts from
passengers and crew while the events were still fresh in their minds.
Smith also needed to subpoena all surviving British passengers and
crew while they were still on American soil, which prevented them from
returning to the UK before the American inquiry was completed on 25
May. The British press condemned Smith as an opportunist,
insensitively forcing an inquiry as a means of gaining political
prestige and seizing "his moment to stand on the world stage". Smith,
however, already had a reputation as a campaigner for safety on U.S.
railroads, and wanted to investigate any possible malpractices by
railroad tycoon J. P. Morgan, Titanic's ultimate owner.
The British Board of Trade\'s inquiry into the disaster was headed by
Lord Mersey , and took place between 2 May and 3 July. Being run by
the Board of Trade, who had previously approved the ship, it was seen
by some as having little interest in its own or White Star's conduct
being found negligent.
Each inquiry took testimony from both passengers and crew of Titanic,
crew members of Leyland Line's Californian, Captain
Arthur Rostron of
Carpathia and other experts. The British inquiry also took far
greater expert testimony, making it the longest and most detailed
court of inquiry in British history up to that time. The two
inquiries reached broadly similar conclusions: the regulations on the
number of lifeboats that ships had to carry were out of date and
inadequate, Captain Smith had failed to take proper heed of ice
warnings, the lifeboats had not been properly filled or crewed, and
the collision was the direct result of steaming into a dangerous area
at too high a speed.
Neither inquiry's findings listed negligence by IMM or the White Star
Line as a factor. The American inquiry concluded that since those
involved had followed standard practice the disaster was an act of God
. The British inquiry concluded that Smith had followed long-standing
practice that had not previously been shown to be unsafe, noting that
British ships alone had carried 3.5 million passengers over the
previous decade with the loss of just 10 lives, and concluded that
Smith had done "only that which other skilled men would have done in
the same position". Lord Mersey did however find fault with the
"extremely high speed (twenty-two knots) which was maintained"
following numerous ice warnings, noting that without hindsight, "what
was a mistake in the case of the
Titanic would without doubt be
negligence in any similar case in the future".
The recommendations included strong suggestions for major changes in
maritime regulations to implement new safety measures, such as
ensuring that more lifeboats were provided, that lifeboat drills were
properly carried out and that wireless equipment on passenger ships
was manned around the clock. An
International Ice Patrol
International Ice Patrol was set up
to monitor the presence of icebergs in the North Atlantic, and
maritime safety regulations were harmonised internationally through
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea ; both
measures are still in force today.
On 18 June 1912,
Guglielmo Marconi gave evidence to the Court of
Inquiry regarding the telegraphy. Its final report recommended that
all liners carry the system and that sufficient operators maintain a
Role Of The SS Californian
SS Californian , which had tried to warn
Titanic of the
danger from pack-ice
One of the most controversial issues examined by the inquiries was
the role played by
SS Californian , which had been only a few miles
Titanic but had not picked up her distress calls or responded to
her signal rockets. Californian had warned
Titanic by radio of the
pack ice that was the reason Californian had stopped for the night,
but was rebuked by Titanic's senior wireless operator, Jack Phillips .
Testimony before the British inquiry revealed that at 10:10 p.m.,
Californian observed the lights of a ship to the south; it was later
agreed between Captain
Stanley Lord and Third Officer C.V. Groves (who
had relieved Lord of duty at 11:10 p.m.) that this was a passenger
liner. At 11:50 p.m., the officer had watched that ship's lights
flash out, as if she had shut down or turned sharply, and that the
port light was now visible. Morse light signals to the ship, upon
Lord's order, were made between 11:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., but were not
Titanic were as far from the Californian as Lord
claimed, then he knew, or should have known, that Morse signals would
not be visible. A reasonable and prudent course of action would have
been to awaken the wireless operator and to instruct him to attempt to
Titanic by that method. Had Lord done so, it is possible he
could have reached
Titanic in time to save additional lives.
Captain Lord had gone to the chartroom at 11:00 p.m. to spend the
night; however, Second Officer Herbert Stone, now on duty, notified
Lord at 1:10 a.m. that the ship had fired five rockets. Lord wanted to
know if they were company signals, that is, coloured flares used for
identification. Stone said that he did not know and that the rockets
were all white. Captain Lord instructed the crew to continue to signal
the other vessel with the Morse lamp, and went back to sleep. Three
more rockets were observed at 1:50 a.m. and Stone noted that the ship
looked strange in the water, as if she were listing . At 2:15 a.m.,
Lord was notified that the ship could no longer be seen. Lord asked
again if the lights had had any colours in them, and he was informed
that they were all white.
Californian eventually responded. At around 5:30 a.m., Chief Officer
George Stewart awakened wireless operator
Cyril Furmstone Evans ,
informed him that rockets had been seen during the night, and asked
that he try to communicate with any ship. He got news of Titanic's
loss, Captain Lord was notified, and the ship set out to render
assistance. She arrived well after Carpathia had already picked up all
The inquiries found that the ship seen by Californian was in fact
Titanic and that it would have been possible for Californian to come
to her rescue; therefore, Captain Lord had acted improperly in failing
to do so.
SURVIVORS AND VICTIMS
List of Titanic passengers
The number of casualties of the sinking is unclear, due to a number
of factors. These include confusion over the passenger list, which
included some names of people who cancelled their trip at the last
minute, and the fact that several passengers travelled under aliases
for various reasons and were therefore double-counted on the casualty
lists. The death toll has been put at between 1,490 and 1,635 people.
The tables below use figures from the British
Board of Trade
Board of Trade report
on the disaster. While the use of Marconi wireless system did not
achieve the result of bringing a rescue ship to the Tinanic before it
sank, the use of wireless did bring the Carpathia in time to rescue
some of the survivors who otherwise would have perished due to
The water temperature in the area where
Titanic sank, which was well
below normal, also contributed to the rapid death of many passengers
during the sinking. Water temperature readings taken around the time
of the accident were reported to be 28°F. Typical water temperatures
were normally in the mid-40°F range during mid-April. The coldness of
the water sped up the process of hypothermia and eventual death for
many of those in the water.
Fewer than a third of those aboard
Titanic survived the disaster.
Some survivors died shortly afterwards; injuries and the effects of
exposure caused the deaths of several of those brought aboard
Carpathia. The figures show stark differences in the survival rates
of the different classes aboard Titanic. Although only 3% of
first-class women were lost, 54% of those in third class died.
Similarly, five of six first-class and all second-class children
survived, but 52 of the 79 in third class perished. The differences by
gender were even bigger: nearly all female crew members, first and
second class passengers were saved. Men from the First Class died at a
higher rate than women from the Third Class. In total, 50% of the
children survived, 20% of the men and 75% of the women.
The last living survivor,
Millvina Dean from England, who at only
nine weeks old was the youngest passenger on board, died aged 97 on 31
May 2009. A special survivor was crew member
Violet Jessop who
survived the sinkings of both
Titanic and Britannic and was aboard
Olympic when she was rammed in 1911.
RETRIEVAL AND BURIAL OF THE DEAD
Titanic victims, Fairview Cemetery , Halifax, Nova
Once the massive loss of life became known,
White Star Line
White Star Line chartered
the cable ship
CS Mackay-Bennett from
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia ,
to retrieve bodies. Three other Canadian ships followed in the
search: the cable ship Minia, lighthouse supply ship Montmagny and
sealing vessel Algerine. Each ship left with embalming supplies,
undertakers, and clergy. Of the 333 victims that were eventually
recovered, 328 were retrieved by the Canadian ships and five more by
passing North Atlantic steamships.
The first ship to reach the site of the sinking, the CS
Mackay-Bennett, found so many bodies that the embalming supplies
aboard were quickly exhausted. Health regulations required that only
embalmed bodies could be returned to port. Captain Larnder of the
Mackay-Bennett and undertakers aboard decided to preserve only the
bodies of first class passengers, justifying their decision by the
need to visually identify wealthy men to resolve any disputes over
large estates. As a result, many third class passengers and crew were
buried at sea. Larnder identified many of those buried at sea as crew
members by their clothing, and stated that as a mariner, he himself
would be contented to be buried at sea.
Bodies recovered were preserved for transport to Halifax, the closest
city to the sinking with direct rail and steamship connections. The
Halifax coroner, John Henry Barnstead , developed a detailed system to
identify bodies and safeguard personal possessions. Relatives from
across North America came to identify and claim bodies. A large
temporary morgue was set up in the curling rink of the Mayflower
Curling Club and undertakers were called in from all across eastern
Canada to assist. Some bodies were shipped to be buried in their home
towns across North America and Europe. About two-thirds of the bodies
were identified. Unidentified victims were buried with simple numbers
based on the order in which their bodies were discovered. The majority
of recovered victims, 150 bodies, were buried in three Halifax
cemeteries, the largest being Fairview Lawn Cemetery followed by the
nearby Mount Olivet and Baron de Hirsch cemeteries.
In mid-May 1912, RMS Oceanic recovered three bodies over 200 miles
(320 km) from the site of the sinking who were among the original
occupants of Collapsible A. When Fifth Officer
Harold Lowe and six
crewmen returned to the wreck site sometime after the sinking in a
lifeboat to pick up survivors, they rescued a dozen males and one
female from Collapsible A, but left the dead bodies of three of its
occupants. After their retrieval from Collapsible A by Oceanic, the
bodies were buried at sea.
Titanic body recovered was steward James McGrady, Body No.
330, found by the chartered Newfoundland sealing vessel Algerine on 22
May and buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax on 12 June.
Only 333 bodies of
Titanic victims were recovered, one in five of the
over 1500 victims. Some bodies sank with the ship while currents
quickly dispersed bodies and wreckage across hundreds of miles making
them difficult to recover. By June one of the last search ships
reported that life jackets supporting bodies were coming apart and
releasing bodies to sink.
Wreck of the RMS Titanic The bow of the wrecked
RMS Titanic, photographed in June 2004
Titanic was long thought to have sunk in one piece and, over the
years, many schemes were put forward for raising the wreck. None came
to fruition. The fundamental problem was the sheer difficulty of
finding and reaching a wreck that lies over 12,000 feet (3,700 m)
below the surface, in a location where the water pressure is over
6,500 pounds per square inch (450 bar). A number of expeditions were
mounted to find
Titanic but it was not until 1 September 1985 that a
Franco-American expedition led by
Robert Ballard succeeded.
The team discovered that
Titanic had in fact split apart, probably
near or at the surface, before sinking to the seabed. The separated
bow and stern sections lie about a third of a mile (0.6 km) apart in
Titanic Canyon off the coast of Newfoundland. They are located 13.2
miles (21.2 km) from the inaccurate coordinates given by Titanic's
radio operators on the night of her sinking, and approximately 715
miles (1,151 km) from Halifax and 1,250 miles (2,012 km) from New
Both sections struck the sea bed at considerable speed, causing the
bow to crumple and the stern to collapse entirely. The bow is by far
the more intact section and still contains some surprisingly intact
interiors. In contrast, the stern is completely wrecked; its decks
have pancaked down on top of each other and much of the hull plating
was torn off and lies scattered across the sea floor. The much greater
level of damage to the stern is probably due to structural damage
incurred during the sinking. Thus weakened, the remainder of the stern
was flattened by the impact with the sea bed.
The two sections are surrounded by a debris field measuring
approximately 5 by 3 miles (8.0 km × 4.8 km). It contains hundreds
of thousands of items, such as pieces of the ship, furniture,
dinnerware and personal items, which fell from the ship as she sank or
were ejected when the bow and stern impacted on the sea floor. The
debris field was also the last resting place of a number of Titanic's
victims. Most of the bodies and clothes were consumed by sea creatures
and bacteria, leaving pairs of shoes and boots—which have proved to
be inedible—as the only sign that bodies once lay there.
Since its initial discovery, the wreck of
Titanic has been revisited
on numerous occasions by explorers, scientists, filmmakers, tourists
and salvagers, who have recovered thousands of items from the debris
field for conservation and public display. The ship's condition has
deteriorated significantly over the years, particularly from
accidental damage by submersibles but mostly because of an
accelerating rate of growth of iron-eating bacteria on the hull. It
has been estimated that within the next 50 years the hull and
Titanic will eventually collapse entirely, leaving only
the more durable interior fittings of the ship intermingled with a
pile of rust on the sea floor. Bell from the
Many artefacts from
Titanic have been recovered from the sea bed by
Titanic Inc., which exhibits them in touring exhibitions around
the world and in a permanent exhibition at the
Luxor Las Vegas
Luxor Las Vegas hotel
and casino in Las Vegas ,
Nevada . A number of other museums exhibit
artefacts either donated by survivors or retrieved from the floating
bodies of victims of the disaster.
On 16 April 2012, the day after the 100th anniversary of the sinking,
photos were released showing possible human remains resting on the
ocean floor. The photos, taken by
Robert Ballard during an expedition
led by NOAA in 2004, show a boot and a coat close to Titanic's stern
which experts called "compelling evidence" that it is the spot where
somebody came to rest, and that human remains could be buried in the
sediment beneath them. The wreck of the
Titanic falls under the scope
of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater
Cultural Heritage . This means that all states party to the convention
will prohibit the pillaging, commercial exploitation, sale and
dispersion of the wreck and its artefacts. Because of the location of
the wreck in international waters and the lack of any exclusive
jurisdiction over the wreckage area, the convention provides a state
co-operation system, by which states inform each other of any
potential activity concerning ancient shipwreck sites, like the
Titanic, and co-operate to prevent unscientific or unethical
Main article: Changes in safety practices after the sinking of the
Titanic An ice patrol aircraft inspecting an iceberg
After the disaster, recommendations were made by both the British and
American Boards of Inquiry stating that ships should carry enough
lifeboats for all aboard, mandated lifeboat drills would be
implemented, lifeboat inspections would be conducted, etc. Many of
these recommendations were incorporated into the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea passed in 1914. The
convention has been updated by periodic amendments, with a completely
new version adopted in 1974. Signatories to the convention followed
up with national legislation to implement the new standards. For
example in Britain, new "Rules for Life Saving Appliances" were passed
Board of Trade
Board of Trade on 8 May 1914 and then applied at a meeting of
British steamship companies in
Liverpool in June 1914.
Further, the United States government passed the
Radio Act of 1912 .
This act, along with the International Convention for the Safety of
Life at Sea, stated that radio communications on passenger ships would
be operated 24 hours a day, along with a secondary power supply, so as
not to miss distress calls. Also, the
Radio Act of 1912 required ships
to maintain contact with vessels in their vicinity as well as coastal
onshore radio stations. In addition, it was agreed in the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea that the firing
of red rockets from a ship must be interpreted as a sign of need for
help. Once the
Radio Act of 1912 was passed it was agreed that rockets
at sea would be interpreted as distress signals only, thus removing
any possible misinterpretation from other ships.
Finally, the disaster led to the formation and international funding
International Ice Patrol
International Ice Patrol , an agency of the United States Coast
Guard that to the present day monitors and reports on the location of
North Atlantic Ocean icebergs that could pose a threat to
transatlantic sea traffic. Coast Guard aircraft conduct the primary
reconnaissance. In addition, information is collected from ships
operating in or passing through the ice area. Except for the years of
the two World Wars, the
International Ice Patrol
International Ice Patrol has worked each
season since 1913. During the period there has not been a single
reported loss of life or property due to collision with an iceberg in
the patrol area. In 1912, the
Board of Trade
Board of Trade chartered the barque
Scotia to act as a weather ship in the
Grand Banks of Newfoundland
Grand Banks of Newfoundland ,
keeping a look-out for icebergs. A Marconi wireless was installed to
enable her to communicate with stations on the coast of
Main article: Cultural legacy of RMS
Titanic has gone down in history as the ship that was called
unsinkable. For more than 100 years, she has been the inspiration of
fiction and non-fiction. She is commemorated by monuments for the dead
and by museums exhibiting artefacts from the wreck. Just after the
sinking memorial postcards sold in huge numbers together with
memorabilia ranging from tin candy boxes to plates, whiskey jiggers,
and even black mourning teddy bears. Several survivors wrote books
about their experiences but it was not until 1955 the first
historically accurate book A Night to Remember was published.
The first film about the disaster, Saved from the
Titanic , was
released only 29 days after the ship sank and had an actual survivor
as its star—the silent film actress
Dorothy Gibson . The British
film A Night to Remember (1958) is still widely regarded as the most
historically accurate movie portrayal of the sinking. The most
financially successful by far has been
James Cameron 's Titanic
(1997), which became the highest-grossing film in history up to that
time, as well as the winner of 11 Oscars at the 70th
Academy Awards ,
including Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron.
Titanic disaster was commemorated through a variety of memorials
and monuments to the victims, erected in several English-speaking
countries and in particular in cities that had suffered notable
losses. These included Southampton,
Belfast in the
United Kingdom; New York and Washington, D.C. in the United States;
Cobh (formerly Queenstown) in Ireland. A number of museums around
the world have displays on Titanic. In
Northern Ireland , the ship is
commemorated by the
Belfast visitor attraction, opened on 31
March 2012, that stands on the site of the shipyard where
Titanic Inc., which is authorised to salvage the wreck site, has
Titanic exhibition at the
Luxor Las Vegas
Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino
Nevada which features a 22-ton slab of the ship's hull. It also
runs an exhibition which travels around the world. In Nova Scotia,
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic displays items that were
recovered from the sea a few days after the disaster. They include
pieces of woodwork such as panelling from the ship's First Class
Lounge and an original deckchair, as well as objects removed from the
victims. In 2012 the centenary was marked by plays, radio programmes,
parades, exhibitions and special trips to the site of the sinking
together with commemorative stamps and coins.
In a frequently commented-on literary coincidence, Morgan Robertson
authored a novel called Futility in 1898 about a fictional British
passenger liner with the plot bearing a number of similarities to the
Titanic disaster. In the novel the ship is the SS Titan, a
four-stacked liner, the largest in the world and considered
unsinkable. But like the Titanic, she sinks after hitting an iceberg
and does not have enough lifeboats.
Diagrams of RMS
Diagram of RMS
Titanic showing the arrangement of the bulkheads in
red. Compartments in the engineering area at the bottom of the ship
are noted in blue. Names of decks are listed to the right (starting at
top on Boat deck, going from A through F and ending on Lower deck at
the waterline). Areas of damage made by the iceberg are shown in
green. The scale's smallest unit is 10 feet (3.0 m) and its total
length is 400 feet (120 m).
A cutaway diagram of Titanic's midship section.
S: Sun deck. A: Upper promenade deck. B: Promenade deck,
glass-enclosed. C: Saloon deck. E: Main deck. F: Middle deck. G: Lower
deck: cargo, coal bunkers, boilers, engines. (a) Welin davits with
lifeboats, (b) Bilge, (c) Double bottom
Titanic in size to modern means of transport and a
person Timeline of RMS
* 17 September 1908: Ship ordered.
* 31 May 1911: Ship launched.
* 1 April 1912: Trials completed.
* 10 April, noon:
Maiden voyage starts. Leaves
narrowly escaping collision with American liner New York.
* 10 April, 19:00: Stops at
Cherbourg for passengers.
* 10 April, 21:00: Leaves
Cherbourg for Queenstown.
* 11 April, 12:30: Stops at Queenstown for passengers and mail.
* 11 April, 14:00: Leaves Queenstown for New York.
* 14 April, 23:40: Collision with iceberg (Latitude 41° 46′ N,
Longitude 50° 14′ W).
* 15 April, 00:45: First boat, No. 7, lowered.
* 15 April, 02:05: Last boat, Collapsible D, lowered.
* 15 April, 02:20: Foundering.
* 15 April, 03:30–08:50: Rescue of survivors.
* 19 April – 25 May: U.S. inquiry.
* 2 May – 3 July: British inquiry.
* 1 September 1985: Discovery of wreck.
See also: Replica
Titanic II , and Romandisea
First Class Lounge of the Olympic which was almost identical to that
of the Titanic, seen today as a dining room in the White Swan Hotel,
There have been several proposals and studies for a project to build
a replica ship based on the Titanic. A project by South African
businessman Sarel Gaus was abandoned in 2006, and a project by
Clive Palmer was announced in 2012, known as
Titanic II .
A Chinese shipbuilding company known as Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry
Group Co., Ltd commenced construction in January 2014 to build a
replica ship of the
Titanic for use in a resort. The vessel will house
many features of the original, such as a ballroom, dining hall,
theatre, first-class cabins, economy cabins and swimming pool.
Tourists will be able to reside inside the
Titanic during their time
at the resort. It will be permanently docked at the resort and feature
an audiovisual simulation of the sinking, which has caused some
RMS Olympic was the sister ship of the Titanic. The interior
decoration of the dining salon and the grand staircase were in
identical style and created by the same craftsmen. Large parts of the
interior of the Olympic were later sold and are now in the White Swan
Hotel, Alnwick , which gives an impression of how the interior of the
* Disaster portal
* Nautical portal
* United Kingdom portal
International Maritime Organization
International Maritime Organization
Lists of shipwrecks
Titanic alternative theories , alternative explanations for
the fate of the
Titanic (rather than it hitting an iceberg)
* The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility
* ^ Carlisle would leave the project in 1910, before the ships were
launched, when he became a shareholder in Welin
Davit the famous
"flying" scene at the ship's bow from the 1997 film
Titanic would not
have been permitted in real life.
* ^ This photo is probably of Titanic's sister ship, Olympic.
* ^ Copy after
Merry-Joseph Blondel of the neoclassical oil
* ^ Measurement of lifeboats: 1–2: 25'2" long by 7'2" wide by
3'2" deep; 326.6 cubic feet (9.25 m3); 3–16: 30' long by 9'1" wide
by 4' deep; 655.2 cubic feet (18.55 m3) and A–D: 27'5" long by 8'
wide by 3' deep; 376.6 cubic feet (10.66 m3)
* ^ Since 1894, when the largest passenger ship under consideration
Cunard Line 's 13,000-ton Lucania , the
Board of Trade
Board of Trade had
made no provision to increase the existing scale regarding the number
of required lifeboats for larger ships, such as the 46,000-ton
Titanic. Sir Alfred Chalmers, nautical adviser to the Board of Trade
from 1896 to 1911, had considered the matter of adjusting the scale
"from time to time", but because he not only assumed that experienced
sailors would need to be carried "uselessly" aboard ship only to lower
and man the extra lifeboats, but also anticipated the difficulty in
getting away a greater number than 16 boats in any emergency, he "did
not consider it necessary to increase ".
* ^ He expressed deep disappointment about the decision before the
voyage, but was presumably greatly relieved afterwards.
Titanic also had a ship's cat, Jenny, who gave birth to a
litter of kittens shortly before the ship's maiden voyage; all
perished in the sinking.
* ^ Known afterward as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" due to her
efforts in helping other passengers while the ship sank
* ^ Captain Edward Smith had been in command of Titanic's sister
Olympic when she in 1911 collided with a warship. Even though that
ship was designed to sink others by ramming them, it suffered greater
damage than Olympic, thereby strengthening the image of the class
* ^ The official enquiry found that damage extended about 300 feet,
but both Edward Wilding's testimony and modern ultrasound surveys of
the wreck suggest the total area was perhaps a few narrow openings
totalling perhaps no more than 12 to 13 square feet (1.1 to 1.2 m2).
* ^ An incident confirmed this philosophy while
Titanic was under
construction: the White Star liner Republic was involved in a
collision and sank. Even though she did not have enough lifeboats for
all passengers, they were all saved because the ship was able to stay
afloat long enough for them to be ferried to ships coming to assist.
* ^ Life expectancy in such temperatures is often under 15 minutes
even for people who are young and fit. The victims would have died
from bodily reactions to freezing water rather than hypothermia (loss
of core temperature). Immersed into freezing seas, around 20% of
victims die within two minutes from cold shock (uncontrolled rapid
breathing and gasping causing water inhalation, massive increase in
blood pressure, cardiac strain leading to cardiac arrest, and panic ),
another 50% die within 15–30 minutes from cold incapacitation
(inability to use or control limbs and hands for swimming or gripping,
as the body 'protectively' shuts down peripheral muscles to protect
its core), and exhaustion and unconsciousness cause drowning ,
claiming the rest within a similar time.
* ^ The Salvation Army newspaper, The War Cry, reported that "none
but a heart of stone would be unmoved in the presence of such anguish.
Night and day that crowd of pale, anxious faces had been waiting
patiently for the news that did not come. Nearly every one in the
crowd had lost a relative." It was not until 17 April that the first
incomplete lists of survivors came through, delayed by poor
* ^ On 23 April, the Daily Mail reported: "Late in the afternoon
hope died out. The waiting crowds thinned, and silent men and women
sought their homes. In the humbler homes of
Southampton there is
scarcely a family who has not lost a relative or friend. Children
returning from school appreciated something of tragedy, and woeful
little faces were turned to the darkened, fatherless homes."
* ^ According to an eyewitness report, there "were many pathetic
scenes" when Titanic's survivors disembarked at New York
* ^ Lord protested his innocence to the end of his life, and many
researchers have asserted that the known positions of
Californian make it impossible that the former was the infamous
"mystery ship", a topic which has "generated ... millions of words and
... hours of heated debates" and continues to do so.
* ^ Most of the bodies were numbered, however, the five passengers
buried at sea by Carpathia went unnumbered.
* ^ Thomas Beattie, a first class passenger, and two crew members,
a fireman and a seaman.
* ^ An example is Daniel Butler's book about RMS Titanic, titled
* ^ A B C D E Ship's time; at the time of the collision, Titanic's
clocks were set to 2 hours 2 minutes ahead of
Eastern Time Zone
Eastern Time Zone and 2
hours 58 minutes behind
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time .
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